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Environmental impacts of reindeer meat - LCA analysis of Finnish production

Environmental impacts of reindeer meat LCA analysis of Finnish production
Frans Silvenius1*, Sanna Hietala2, Sirpa Kurppa3
1 Natural resources institute Finland, Latokartanonkaari 9, FI-00790 Helsinki
2 Natural resources institute Finland, Paavo Havaksen tie 3, FI-90014 University of Oulu
3 Natural resources institute Finland, Myllytie 1, FI-31600 Jokioinen
*Corresponding author
European procurement directives (2014) have abled inclusion of environmental and social impacts of food
as criteria in professional kitchens’ procurement. However, environmental impacts of local food are very
case dependent, thus more research is needed. Here, carbon footprint (CF) and eutrophying impact of
Finnish reindeer meat was evaluated using Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) approach, result was given as CO2
equivalents and PO4 equivalents.
Methane emissions from enteric fermentation were calculated using feed recipes obtained from producers.
N2O and NH3 emissions were calculated following Grönroos et al. (2009). Emissions from using natural
feeds such as lichen were classified as natural and were not included. Emissions from transportation (incl.
snowmobile use) and feed consumption were estimated using reindeer husbandry economics (MTT).
Emissions from slaughtering were based on data from one slauhghterhouse. ISO standard was followed and
functional unit was set to 1 kg minced reindeer meat on one year period.
Largest contributions to CF originated in enteric fermentation as methane and as N2O in feed productions’
field practices and manure management. CF of reindeer meat was evaluated as 14 kg CO2 eq/kg FU, which
is little less than that of Finnish beef (Usva et al. 2012). Eutrophying impact was also less than that of beef,
10,4 g PO4 eq/kg FU, mostly from excess phosphorus and nitrogen.
These results indicate that reindeer meat has smaller environmental burden than beef. Much of the
evaluation was based on statistical data and more detailed research would give better image of
independent farms products and their sustainability.
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